What is the Green Building Manual?

The New Jersey Green Building Manual (NJGBM or Manual) is a comprehensive web-based document that defines a baseline of performance and provides enabling economic and environmental best practices for green building. The legislature authorized the creation of the Manual (C:52:27D130.6) to provide this guidance to owners and builders who participate in any state program that either encourages or requires the construction of green buildings.

The NJGBM is organized into four sections – New Commercial, Existing Commercial, New Residential and Existing Residential – each of which contains performance baselines called compliance paths, the best practice strategies, and case studies that illustrate how these strategies have been implemented in New Jersey within a “lessons learned” framework. Best practice strategies include all aspects of green building, but are focused on those that promote energy efficiency in keeping with State of New Jersey policy objectives. The best practice strategies are presented in an operational framework based on a new building’s design-build-operate-evaluate process or on common building upgrades for existing buildings.

The NJGBM is a consensus-driven product. Throughout its creation two groups -- the Residential and the Commercial Technical Advisory Group -- provided substantive expertise and judgement across all aspects of the Manual. This was especially true regarding the establishment of the performance baselines (compliance paths). Additional groups that contributed to the Manual include the Municipal Advisors and the Local Code Officials and of course the group of state agencies who oversaw the development of the Manual, who were formally known as the Managing Partners throughout the process.